Volume. XXVII, No. 25
Sunday, 16 December 2012


Why Celebrate Christmas? - Part 1


Introduction

Houses decorated with bright lights and trees are just some of the signs that the Christmas season has arrived. But besides enjoying the lights and trees, eating Christmas cookies, singing Jingle Bells and engaging in other seasonal activities, Christmas is a time in which we will reflect upon or be confronted with the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even if we are not Christian, our attention will be directed to Jesus\' birth by manger scenes, the words of Christmas songs that we either sing or hear and the plays that we see.

But why celebrate Christmas? Why make such a big deal about the birth of Jesus? The answer can be found by looking at the reasons He was born. Unlike us, Jesus\' existence did not begin at His conception. Being God the Son, He always is. Indeed, prior to the first Christmas, He, as God, dwelt in heaven, full of glory, splendour and majesty! But then, at just the right time, He willingly humbled Himself by coming down from heaven to be conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  Consequently, to inquire into the reasons for Jesus\' birth is tantamount to asking why God became a man. As we search the Scriptures, we discover at least three reasons the Son of God came into the world. First, Jesus was born to destroy the Devil. Second, He came into the world to save us from our sins. And third, He came to become the King of kings and sit on the throne of David. We will look at these three reasons in turn and in so doing we will begin to appreciate the supreme importance of Christmas.

First, Jesus was born to destroy the Devil 

The Bible, in many places, indicates that one reason Jesus came into this world was to destroy Satan. Consider the following passages: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8b). “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb. 2:14)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. After making everything just right, God made man, male and female in His own image on the sixth and final day of His creative work. He then placed the first two human beings in the Garden, where they enjoyed the presence of God and the bounty of His creation (Genesis 2). There was no death or misery of any kind. Life was good. Peace reigned between God and man and between Adam and Eve. But then one day, the Devil, in the form of a serpent, showed up at Adam and Eve\'s front door. The Devil or Satan, himself a creature of God, had at one time served God. But he, in his pride had broken ranks and rebelled against the Almighty, taking many angels with him, thereby becoming God\'s arch enemy.

God, however, cannot be defeated. He knew all along what would happen. So He announced His plan of redemption right from the beginning, that one day a child would be born to destroy the Devil and his works. According to Genesis 3:15, God said that the seed of the woman would one day crush the serpent\'s head. Jesus is the Seed of woman who laid down His life in order to crush and destroy Satan! By suffering and dying and rising from the dead, Jesus administered the fatal blow and set His people free! So, the works of the Devil have been destroyed. Consequently, all authority and power now belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is why the Good News of the Gospel can go out into the world with tremendous success! Indeed, Paul was sent to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God..." (Acts 26:18a) Hence, all who believe and receive the Gospel are said by Paul to be delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of God\'s beloved Son. (Colossians 1:13)

Second, Jesus was born to save us from our sins  (Section A)

A second reason for celebrating Jesus\' birth is, like the first one, mentioned by John in his first epistle: "And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." (1 John 3:5) Consider also 1 Timothy 1:15: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." Jesus, God the Father\'s only begotten Son, was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary so that He might deliver us from our sins. To unravel this great truth, we are going to again begin at the beginning. 

In the beginning there was no sin. After God had made everything in six days, He declared what He had made to be very good. This pronouncement included the first two human beings: Adam and Eve. They too were good. After all, they were created in God\'s own image in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. However, Adam sinned and plunged himself and all of mankind into sin and death. He and Eve then were cast out of the garden and thus from the presence of God. They became sinners and inhabited a sin-cursed world. They would die a physical death as their bodies would return to dust. And they stood condemned to die the second death, eternal death. This then was the situation they walked into, and which every descendent of Adam walks into when he is born. However, instead of leaving Adam and Eve, and the rest of mankind, to suffer the consequences of their actions, God chose to save, even before the world was created – that is the gospel!

.... To be continued.

Pastor Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Volunteers (Gp 1). Next Lord’s Day:  Dn Colin Gan

*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. Christmas & other greeting cards, new books available. It will be closed on Christmas Day.

*Session would like to thank the Sunday School teachers, contributors (food, drinks), parents & helpers for the Sunday School Christmas Party yesterday.

*Serving the Lord in the Flower Roster for 2013 - please write your name on the sheet of paper on the literature table.

*There will no Ladies’ & Men’s Fellowship meetings, & Adult Sunday School till Feb 2013. No AFG and Sparks meetings till January 2013.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bros Raymond Ang, Simon Yeo (Adl), Raymond Chia (S’pore) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Jillian Chia, May & Katrina Loh (S’pore), Megan Lim (Adl); & others who have arrived safely.

2. Membership Transfers to Hope BPC: The Ngoma family & Sis Jillian Chia.

3. Church Activities, in the past week.

4. Sunday School Christmas Party - Organisers, participants, helpers, & children.

5. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

6. Visitors & new worshippers.

7. Safe delivery of James, for Sis Josephine Wong on Mon, 10 Dec (Melb).

 Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (Nursing Home), Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & Ministry; (Sihanoukville); Bro Chanthon & Ministry (Siem Reap).

3. IBPFM & PMU Boards & their Missionaries.

4. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam

5. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. Special Prayer: Ministries in S’pore & Korea in Dec.

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melbourne, Vic).

8. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC. 

9. Journey mercies: Ps & Sis Ki, & family (S’pore); Dns Joyce Gong; Bro Ngie Joo & Sis Sooi Chin Gong (Per); Bros Raymond Ang (Pinnaroo), Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl), Lucas Yiew (Adl); Sisters Alice & Michelle Lee (Melb), Megan Lim & Clara Sim (S’pore); & those who are travelling. 

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee  (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for  stable jobs.

12. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches

13. Postnatal recovery - Sis Josephine Wong; health - James Wong. (Melb).

14. Health in pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam

15. Believers under persecution in Islamic nations.

16.  Australian work visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Felicia Tan

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063